Lexington, KY - October 31, 2014 - It was a race to the finish today during the Amalaya Investments $20,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame (SJHOF) Amateur-Owner Jumper Championship, presented by the Nusz Family, at the National Horse Show. Thirty-one of the East Coast's most talented horse and rider combinations competed in the series finale, but it was Chicago's Catherine Tyree and Don't Go who proved that they have what it takes to go to the top. They shattered Tori Colvin's time by over two seconds to seal their win in a blazing time of 30.478 seconds. Colvin however secured her second consecutive East Coast Junior Series Overall Championship.
"This is my biggest jumper win for sure," Tyree smiled. "It is truly an honor to not only compete here at the National Horse Show, but also end up winning one of these classes."
Tyree and her own Don't Go, a 12-year-old stallion, put forth their best effort through the entire Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series, only narrowly missing the Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic Series overall victory by 81 points, just behind Laura Linback and Attention Please.
Tyree said of her mount, "I call him my war horse. He is so reliable. He is game for anything. I can do a small ring like Washington or a big ring like the Hamptons. He is so good to me. I always know he is going to be there for me. His character is what makes him so great."
Thirteen riders qualified for the shortened course, designed by internationally renowned course designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil. In the jump-off, only seven of the original 16 jumping efforts remained in the Alltech Arena, allowing ample opportunity for the riders to open their strides and tackle the long distances to the obstacles.
Colvin set the pace early in the order with Don Juan, using his foot speed to her advantage over the course to break the beam in 32.052 seconds. Her speed went unmatched until Tyree entered the ring aboard Don't Go.
Tyree had already tested the track as the second rider to go in the jump off with her first qualified mount, Wetter. The opportunity gave her an advantage as she executed her plan both efficiently and effectively aboard Don't Go on her second try. His large stride covered the ground with ease, leaving out strides to trip the timers in an astonishing 30.478 seconds.
"Don't Go is such a game horse," Tyree said. "Once I picked up the gallop to the first jump and went off the nine strides to the oxer, I was able to do only five strides turning back to the next oxer. That was where I was able to get the time. He has such a big stride, is so careful and has such a fighting attitude. I knew that if I gave it a good shot, he would give his all for me."
Haley Gassel gave a valiant effort with Quite Dark 2, owned by Westwind Equine Training Center, but was shy of the victory by 4/10ths of a second. Gassel has ridden Quite Dark 2 for almost two years, and she showed the confidence she has in their partnership as she sliced the turns and raced to the final oxer.
"He is very sweet in the barn, and in the ring he is very confident," Gassel said. "You put him anywhere and he will jump. If you ride him correctly, he will always go clean. He is just a great horse in general. He has a huge stride. I always tell people that he has to have an 18-foot stride. He covers the ground incredibly, it gets so long, but it is not a loose long. It is still tight and adjustable."
Gassel concluded the Amalaya Investments $20,000 SJHF Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Championship in second place, while Colvin finished third. Colvin was presented with the overall series award as the highest scoring junior for her second consecutive year.
"I call him my donkey in the barn," Colvin laughed as she talked of her mount Don Juan. "When we gallop around he doesn't even canter, but when you point him at a jump, he is like a dirt bike. He revs up because he has to in order to make it over the jump. His mom was a pony, so he is really small, and he has the pony attitude, too."
Colvin concluded the series with 955 points, a full 250 points ahead of fellow contenders. She proved unstoppable from her wins during the Winter Equestrian Festival, and her lead became insurmountable after the Lake Placid Horse Shows. Colvin continued, "You have to be consistent throughout the year in order to win the series, and I think that for the juniors to be able to have that opportunity gives us a great chance and experience."
Francois Mathy Goes Wire to Wire to Win Chansonette Farm $45,000 Gamblers Choice Costume Class
Halloween Night at the 2014 National Horse Show featured creative costumes throughout the building; some on the many kids that came to trick or treat as well as those created by the riders in tonight's popular Chansonette Farm $45,000 Gamblers Choice Costume Class. Although it wasn't realized at the time, the class was over right after the first rider finished his imaginative course. Francois Mathy of Belgium, dressed as a soccer referee, raced Ornellaia through some tight tricky turns and amassed a grand total of 1340 points to secure the Friday night wire to wire win.
No one else came close.
The 200 point Joker fence, a tall, difficult 1.65m vertical of three white poles in the center of the ring proved to be the decider for many of the competitors tonight as only 11 of the 25 riders in the Gamblers Choice were able to add the 200 points to their score. Almost all that cleared the Joker ended up in the money when the tally was finally counted. Fourteen riders saw the 200 points deducted sending them home without a prize.
Schuyler Riley came the closet to catching Mathy's top score but was still 110 points off the pace in second place. Riley, dressed as a big game hunter, rode Dobra de Porceyo to a total score of 1230 points.
Schuyler Riley and Dobra De Porceyo
Third place went to cat woman Laura Kraut and Cedric with 1220 points over the Guilherme Jorge designed course.
Rounding out the top four was Shane Sweetnam, riding as Woody from Toy Story. Sweetnam piloted Cyklon 1083 to a 1210 point total.
"It is never easy in this kind of class when you go first," said Mathy following his victory gallop. "You don't have a lot of references; you don't know how many obstacles you can jump. I saw the first part was quite tricky and I had quite a few fences coming up quite quickly, and I thought if I could do that all right, the rest of the course was smoother and easier. In this kind of class what you have to do is try to keep the fences as close as possible and not run too much without jumping a fence. I think that worked out quite good in my course. I just kept going around in the same way, not too many changes of direction."
"In this kind of class I don't think you always meet everything really right, you have to improvise a little bit. As soon as you have a fence down, your whole course goes flat, and for me tonight, that didn't happen," Mathy detailed. "I was really happy. This mare is still quite green and she jumped super, and the fences were just coming. It's quite amazing what these horses can do. The fences keep coming at them every four strides and they have to jump it clear. I was really impressed, especially at the joker, a big 1.65m fence, she jumped that really, really well," he said.
And did he think his lead would hold up? "Normally not," he said. "Normally in this kind of class when you show the way, someone is going to catch you. I think my track was not so bad a track, but not so many other riders tried it. I think just two copied me. Normally when you go first you don't have a big advantage. But that worked out all right today," he smiled. "My track maybe was not the best, but it won today."
This is the Belgian's second trip to Lexington and his week was a successful one. "I've had a good show. I came last year and I enjoyed it a lot also. I won one of the big classes with a very good mare last year," he recalled. "The facility is fantastic. I think it is great sport here. The conditions are super. The ring has really good ground. The facility is exceptional with the stabling also. We have plenty of room to ride."
Mathy also has the World Cup Finals in mind. "I enjoy coming here. It's important for us because we can also get some World Cup points here and in Europe it's quite difficult to access the World Cup classes because it's a limited number of riders per nation and there are not as many World Cup shows as here," he said. "It gives you a good opportunity here."
For tomorrow's $250,000 CP World Cup Grand Prix, Mathy will saddle Royal. "The same one I jumped last week in Washington," he said. "He jumped really good, was tenth in the grand prix in Washington. Hopefully we have a good shot tomorrow - that's the main goal here this week."
Finishing in fifth place tonight was Lisona and Jessica Springsteen, decked out in pirate regalia. Springsteen scored 1100 points and crossed the finish line in 53.72 seconds to edge out Olivier Philipaaerts who also scored 1100, but finished with a slower time in 57.19 seconds. The Belgium rider was dressed out as Raggedy Andy.
Seventh place went to Cassinja S and Charlie Jacobs. The Principal of the Boston Bruins was dressed accordingly and banked a total of 1080 points. Eighth went to Balous Day Date and Candice King with 1000 points. King was decked out as Miss Captain America.
Tomorrow the jumper divisions will conclude with the Under 25 Championship Final Competition and the $250,000 CP World Cup Grand Prix.
For more information on the National Horse Show, 131st edition, please visit www.nhs.org.
$20,000 SJHOF A/O - Junior Jumper Classic Results
ORDER ENTRY # HORSE NAME RIDER NAME JF1 TF1 AF1 TIME 1 JF2 TF2 AF2 TIME 2
1 590 DON'T GO CATHERINE TYREE 0 0 0 73.213 0 0 0 30.478
2 815 QUITE DARK 2 HALEY GASSEL 0 0 0 72.882 0 0 0 30.884
3 712 DON JUAN VICTORIA COLVIN 0 0 0 73.972 0 0 0 32.052
4 424 CAYENNE 140 VICTORIA PRESS 0 0 0 73.143 0 0 0 32.326
5 816 HESTER LUCY DESLAURIERS 0 0 0 75.449 0 0 0 32.476
6 588 PROMISED LAND ADDISON GIERKINK 0 0 0 73.013 0 0 0 33.293
7 456 BIGSHOT CALLIE SMITH 0 0 0 71.374 0 0 0 35.269
8 514 QURINT HAYLEY WATERS 0 0 0 73.958 4 0 4 30.888
9 687 TRUE LOVE LEAH DEMARTINI 0 0 0 75.601 4 0 4 36.856
10 545 LAPACCO WESLEY NEWLANDS 0 0 0 74.139 8 0 8 31.461
11 589 WETTER CATHERINE TYREE 0 0 0 75.131 8 0 8 31.580
12 524 VORNADO VAN DEN HOENIDRIK VIVIAN YOWAN 0 0 0 76.063 8 0 8 32.121
$45,000 Open Jumper Gambler's Choice Results
ORDER ENTRY # HORSE NAME RIDER NAME SCORE
1 306 ORNELLAIA FRANCOIS MATHY 1340.000
2 364 DOBRA DE PORCEYO SCHUYLER RILEY 1230.000
3 343 CEDRIC LAURA KRAUT 1220.000
4 368 CYKLON 1083 SHANE SWEETNAM 1210.000
5 344 LISONA JESSICA SPRINGSTEEN 1101.000
6 303 CARLITO C OLIVIER PHILIPPAERTS1100.000
7 428 CASSINJA S CHARLIE JACOBS 1080.000
8 228 BALOUS DAY DATE CANDICE KING 1000.000
9 338 ZERNIKE BRIANNE GOUTAL 991.000
10 220 SI BELLA ADAM PRUDENT 990.000
11 716 BALANCE LILLIE KEENAN 920.000
12 302 J'ESPERE DREAM NICOLA PHILIPPAERTS 890.000
About the National Horse Show
Founded in 1883 at the original Madison Square Garden, the National Horse Show is America's oldest indoor horse show, firmly established as a major fixture on the national and international sports and social event calendars. The National Horse Show Association's primary activity is the annual production of the National Horse Show and all ancillary events. Over the years, the National Horse Show has provided financial aid to many worthwhile charities.
With $755,000 in prize money offered, this year's National Horse Show offers an International Open Jumpers with $460,000 in prize money, while the top rated hunter sections have a total purse of $195,000. Meanwhile, $100,000 in total is offered to the Amateur-Owner and U 25 Jumper sections.
For the fourth consecutive year, The National Horse Show received a top ranking from NARG, the North American Riders Group and was named the Show Hunter Hall of Fame Horse Show of the Year in four back-to-back years.
For more information go to: www.nhs.org